10 Beauty Products That Are Slowly Poisoning You

A few years ago I used to suffer from fairly regular migraines. These headaches were so intense, that I would oftentimes be non-functional. I then went through a period of time when these head aches no longer plagued me like they used to, and I forgot about them.

A year or so later I ran out of foundation (I had started using a natural makeup foundation), and in an emergency situation I bought some cheap foundation to use because I was going to an event. I ended up with one of the worst migraines I had had in years. It took me a few more incidences like this before I finally put two and two together, and realized that the foundation was causing my migraines.

Once I figured this out, I decided to really look into the beauty products that I was using. I became much more conscious of what I put on my skin, and the chemicals that are present in most products these days.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it absorbs everything that we put on it. Think about it: You can absorb medicine through a patch placed on skin, right? Think about nicotine patches and birth control patches. They work because the skin absorbs what is put on it.

If this is the case, your skin is absorbing everything that goes on it from makeup, to lotion, to perfume.

Most of the time we focus on what we’re consuming as far as food goes, when it’s just as important to be looking at what is getting absorbed through the skin.

Here’s a video where my girl Mo and I talk about natural beauty products, and why we avoid chemicals. We recently went to an event at Fig & Flower in Atlanta, and learned about natural beauty products and some cool new products that are available. I can’t decide if the random lady that video-bombed are video was just crazy hilarious, or freaky weird. Perhaps it’s both.

Now that you’ve kind of got an overview of what’s going on in beauty products, let’s talk about the top 10 beauty products that are slowly poisoning you.
1. Lipstick.

Think about it ladies. If you put it on your lips, not only is it absorbing through your skin, but you’re also eating that stuff. It’s going into your mouth and through your digestive system. Blech. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t enjoy eating lipstick or lip gloss.

Chemicals to watch out for: Lead, Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, and Tocopheryl Acetate.

2. Sunscreen.

There’s been a lot of information and study lately into the effects of Vitamin D deficiency on the body. Skin cancer is prevalent and has actually been linked to a lack of Vitamin D in the body. I’ve long since believed that the overuse of sunscreen is actually what is increasing skin cancer vs. the sun exposure itself. Sunscreens not only block the body absorbing much-needed Vitamin D, but also contain carcinogenic chemicals in them that are absorbing into the bloodstream through the skin.

Chemicals to watch out for: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate), Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene.

Here’s some more information on the Environmental Working Group website.

beautycounter beautiful products made safe

3. Foundation.

Cheap foundations have made it pretty evident to me that they aren’t good for us (those migraines were no joke). If we look at the chemicals going into them, we find a not-so-pretty picture of beauty. Most of the chemicals found in foundations are endocrine disruptors. Since the Endocrine system regulates all biological processes in the body, these should be avoided like the plague!

Chemicals to watch out for: Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben.

4. Deodorant/Antiperspirant.

Antiperspirants contain things like aluminum and other ingredients that eliminate odor by blocking it from escaping through the pores under your arm. There are two main issues with this: 1. Blocking toxins from escaping from the body means they have to go somewhere. And what’s right next to the armpits ladies and gents? That’s right…the breasts. If those toxins can’t get out, then where are they going? Makes you think… 2. The chemicals in these products are adding more toxins that get absorbed into the skin under the arms.

So if you are using a deodorant/antiperspirant with chemicals in it, you’re both blocking toxins from getting out and adding more toxins in.

I strongly believe that this is one of the main reasons that breast cancer has become such an epidemic.

Chemicals to watch out for: Aluminum, Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Diethanolamine, Triclosan, and Talc.

toxic beauty products

5. Perfume.

When you see the term “fragrance” you should automatically think “chemical sh*t-storm.” It’s used in perfumes, shampoos, lotions, sunscreens, lip glosses, and so many other products and it is not usually regulated by the FDA. “Fragrance” means you’re almost always looking at chemicals that have been linked to a myriad of diseases including cancer.

“When you see ‘fragrance’ on a personal care product’s label, read it as ‘hidden chemicals.’ A major loophole in FDA’s federal law lets manufacturers of products like shampoo, lotion, and body wash include nearly any ingredient in their products under the name ‘fragrance’ without actually listing the chemical.

Companies that manufacture personal care products are required by law to list the ingredients they use, but fragrances and trade-secret formulas are exempt.” – The Environmental Working Group (EWG)

According to EWG, the average product that contains the word “fragrance” contains 14 chemical compounds that haven’t been disclosed on the label.

Chemicals to watch out for: Aside from the term “fragrance,” also watch out for Parabens, Phthalates, and Synthetic Musks.

6. Mascara.

Mascara is one of the big sources of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. This is going on your lashes and into your eyes. Yuck! I don’t know about you, but I prefer to not have formaldehyde in my eyes. Just a preference of mine, though…

Chemicals to watch out for: Triethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, and Quaternium 15 and quaternium 22 (both release formaldehyde as they break down).

7. Lotion.

The biggest problem with lotions, besides the chemicals in them of course, is that we are applying them every day and even multiple times a day. The build-up of the chemicals happens in the liver and fatty tissues over time. Just think about it….if you are putting on lotion 365 days a year, every day of your life, what is going to happen with these chemicals over time? The build-up leads to disease and toxicity in the body.

Chemicals to watch out for: Parabens, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Alcohols, Fragrance, and Aluminum.

8. Hairspray.

I’ve talked a lot about products and chemicals absorbing through the skin, but now it’s time to also mention the toxins you’re breathing in from some of these products. First and foremost, stay away from aerosols when it comes to hairspray. These are bad for you and the environment. Secondly, hairsprays have actually been linked to diabetes.

The same chemicals that are found in hairspray are also found in nail polish. Its harmful fumes are just as bad if not worse.

Chemicals to watch out for: Phthalates, Alcohols (these are flammable ladies!), Polyvinylpyrrolidine, and Polydimethylsiloxane.

Looking for a DIY alternative? Try this DIY Natural Hair Spray from Whole New Mom.

9. Shampoo/Conditioner.

Did you know that the same chemicals that are used as degreasing agents in car washes are used in your shampoo to make it foam up? You don’t necessarily even need the foaming action, but clever marketing has made us think a good shampoo must foam up in order to clean properly. If you’re interested in using a more natural method, check out some more information on the “No-Poo Method” and try this natural DIY shampoo recipe.

The toxins found prevalent in shampoos and conditioners have been linked to things like organ toxicity, mutations, cancer, weight gain, hormone imbalance, headaches, weakness, and so many others.

Chemicals to watch out for: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Dioxane, Diethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, and MSG.

Read more on toxic shampoos and conditioners on Dr. Mercola.

10. Body Wash/Soap.

Chemicals in body washes and soaps have been linked to auto-immune diseases, cancer, skin/organ toxicity, skin irritation, burns, and rashes. If you’re washing every single day, then you’re piling on these doses of toxins on a daily basis – that’s scary! And this doesn’t even mention the risks and problems associated with so much anti-bacterial soap use. With the overuse of anti-bacterial products,  we’re seeing more and more strain-resistant bacteria as it becomes resistant over time.

Chemicals to watch out for: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Triclosan, and DMDM hydantoin (antimicrobial).

Looking at each of these products individually can seem scary enough, but combine them all together into your daily routines and your body becomes a cesspool of toxins.

safe skincare - what to use

But don’t stress and freak out because you think you need to head to the store right away to buy all new products. Make your changes gradual so you don’t stress yourself out and over time you’ll be using all natural products. Here are a few of my recommendations:

1. Use coconut oil as a body moisturizer and leave-in hair conditioner.

2. Use a castile soap or charcoal soap for cleansing.

3. Use natural shampoos and conditioners (or you can make your own).

4. Make your own natural deodorant.

5. Use essential oils for natural fragrance. I dilute vanilla extract and orange oil in water, and use that as a body mist. People always remark about how nice I smell! 🙂

6. Switch to using natural makeup products. EWG.org lists products and their toxicity scores.

7. Make your own hair spray.

8. Switch to using coconut oil for your natural sunscreen or use one of these safe sunscreens.

9. Beautycounter has a myriad of products that are safe, and it’s the only line of makeup that I now use.

What are some of your tips for using natural beauty products? I’d love to know your recommendations or any fun DIY recipes that you’ve come up with!

*Chemical names and information can be found on EWG.org.

10 beauty products that are poisoning you

By |2016-10-03T16:10:59+00:00August 23rd, 2016|Health and Wellness, Natural Products|12 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!


  1. Kelley Butler July 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Is there a natural mascara? It is THE one beauty product I don’t want to go without.

    • Crystal Collins July 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Here’s some good information on mascaras: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=mascara&h=Search

    • Janet July 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      I am so glad this important issue about toxic chemicals in make up is being raised, Yes! There is the most amazing natural mascara I have ever tried! Younique also has other naturally based safe cosmetics and skincare. I am happy to answer any more questions you have about this product. 🙂

  2. Kristie July 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    We have changed alot of those things too. Thank you for the perfume idea! I hadn’t figured that one out yet. 🙂 I am trying to influence others of the importance of detox too-http://www.familyhomehealth.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-detox-and-why-you-should.html. I had chronic fatigue in the past and detox was an important part of getting better.

    • Kat September 3, 2014 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Hi, I have fibromyalgia – what did you start with to figure out that it could help your CFS? mine’s getting worse as I get older – I rarely use any makeup anymore – retired/mountain living/lazy…….

      also, I’m a sweet junkie! what is the easiest way to eat healthy = I have to cook for a person that loves sweets/meat/potatoes/chips/lunchmeats/soup/breads/cereals and any other stuff. he gets on me about not eating enough (of this stuff too), and Im tired of being FAT!!! I want to eat healthier, lose some weight before I cant get around anymore!!! How/where do I start?

      thanks for any suggestions – I’m depressed/fat/desperate/ and tired of being married.

      • Crystal Collins September 4, 2014 at 8:20 am - Reply

        Sounds like you’re dealing with a lot Kat! Probably the best place to start is with exercise and slowly changing your diet. I’m gonna send you a copy of my 7 weeks to a healthier lifestyle ebook. Hoping that will help you get on the right track!

      • Kristie September 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm - Reply

        I definitely had to change alot. But for me the thought of feeling good motivated me to keep working at it. I did go to doctors (integrated type doctors) and had alot of traditional and non traditional type tests run. I did alot of research and took things step by step. Food definitely played a big part, but the good news is that nourishing food tastes good! If you go to my site, I have alot of information there and I would be happy to answer any questions you have there. My story is long and I don’t want to take over Crystal’s comment thread. 🙂 I think Crystal has an inspirational story too about juicing.

  3. Danielle C July 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Hi all! This was such a great video!! & quite funny! 🙂

    You asked us to leave a comment about natural products that we’ve found & use. I found Lemongrass Spa last July and the products are fantastic! All the products are 97-100% natural and organic. They are also handmade in the USA and not tested on animals. I’ve been able to change out so many of my skin care, makeup and other items that used to contain chemicals and I couldn’t be happier! 🙂 I also loved it so much, I became part of the company! Thank you so much for helping to spread awareness about this topic!

    Much love, Danielle <3

  4. Raquel July 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    I have a concern with recommending coconut oil for sunscreen. Have you actually tried it? I got burnt using it, as did several other friends I know. Please advise if there is a certain protocol to using coconut oil in place of sunscreen.

  5. Sonia July 11, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    This is a great post! Was just talking to some representatives about this very thing to help them differentiate their product from others on the market. Will send post their way!

  6. Natalie Collins July 11, 2014 at 10:38 am - Reply

    #2 about sunscreen is such a good point! I have very fair skin and burn easily so sunscreen always *seemed* to be a must. When I cleaned up my diet, my skin didn’t burn so easily anymore and I held a tan for longer than 2 days. Come to find out, the skin is the largest detoxifying organ of the body and when there are a lot of toxins in the body, they detoxify out through the skin and sit at the surface. When the sun hits these toxins it causes quicker burning and ultimately the skin cancers as well. Mix in the toxins from sunscreen and it’s a recipe for disaster. Coconut oil is my favorite natural sunscreen of choice now. 🙂

  7. Zen July 12, 2014 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    So don’t use Deorderant, Shampoo, or Soap to clean!? We would all smell and have oily hair and breakouts. What’s the solution for getting the sweat out of our hair and skin and having people avoid you because your pits smell? I know a lot of the things we do are harming us but what’s the solution? Can you guarantee us a life time these products you advise will not harm us? If so get back to me

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